Monday, September 15, 2008

Canoli and Volcano in Sicily

Today we landed in Messina, Sicily. We were scheduled for a tour of Taromina and Mt. Etna.  Taromina is around 30 minutes from Messina. It is such a cute little town! We saw the ancient Gecko-Roman amphitheater, which is still in use today. We sampled the Sicilian specialty of almond nougat, and we just wandered the streets. Of course we had to have a gelato (almond and melon flavors today) and a fresh canoli, another Sicilian specialty.

Taromina is also famous for their marzipan fruit. I wanted to buy some for mom and dad, but it was ridiculously overpriced. After an hour of free time in the city, we got back on the bus and drove to Mt. Etna. It is an active volcano that last erupted in the early 2000s. We started with a traditional Sicilian meal at a restaurant halfway up the mountain, which was included in our tour. Luckily they were accommodating for vegetarians. The unnamed bottle of wine on the table was delicious; the pasta was just OK. We've had better on our trip.

Next we got to explore the volcanic craters where the lava flowed. It was so cool! I've never seen a volcano up close. It looked like a foreign planet.

Then the day turned sour. We had such a beautiful day and then our money belt was stolen :( At the port in Messina we were told to take it off to put it though the metal detector. Dan was wearing one for the two of us and didn't want to put it down. He wasn't given a choice. There was a long line and a lot of chaos. Suddenly the belt was gone. I ran to the boat to ask the people in line before and after us if they accidentally grabbed it. Nope. Boat security wouldn't/couldn't help us either. We tried to file a police report, but the station that was two blocks away was closed. Since we were on the all day tour our boat was literally ready to pull away. There was nothing we could do.

Thankfully, it was only money. Our passports were safe and sound on the ship, as was my ATM card and some American cash. We lost our only credit card, Dan's ATM card and some Euros. We've put a hold on the cards and we'll just use my ATM from now on. Thank goodness our cards weren't together. Oh well. We're not going to let a little thing like this spoil our honeymoon.

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